In the rural southeast region of Florida lies the nation’s most abundant natural fishery: Stick Marsh & Farm 13.
Opened to the public in 1991, Stick Marsh & Farm 13 began as an effort by the St. Johns River Water Management District to filter the farmland runoff before it entered the St. Johns River. Much to the surprise of everyone involved, a miracle took place.
The impoundment, which was once a vegetable farm and adjacent swampland, became a haven like no other for wildlife of many species, including largemouth bass. Wild orange trees, palm trees, bushes, and shrubs formed unique new structures and food sources for the bass that migrated in from the St. Johns River.
These coincidental events caused the highest growth rate in largemouth bass ever recorded: a whopping 2.5 pounds per year! Astonished marine biologists opened the impoundment to public fishing only to find 10, 12, and 14 pound bass being caught by equally astonished fishermen on a daily basis.
Today, fishermen and wildlife aficionados from all over the country flock to Stick Marsh & Farm 13 year round to enjoy the natural wildlife and “the world’s best bass fishing”.
With the help of a good fishing guide, even beginners have been known to reel in monster bass weighing over 10 and 12 pounds. The key is knowing where to find these elusive lunkers in the maze of underwater structure.
The unique thing about bass fishing at the Stick Marsh is no matter if the bite is really on or somewhat slower it is always fun. There is just so much pure nature to observe and experience that it is impossible not to be impressed. Be it huge alligators or multitudes of different bird species, an exhilarating boat ride, or maybe just an unusual happening that makes for an interesting story or two it is just never dull. Couple that with some of the most consistent big bass catching anywhere, anytime, and you have the recipe for an awesome day on the water.
Weather, of course, is the most limiting factor to enjoyment. Luckily this is the sunshine state so more often than not your chances are good. If this sounds like something you would like to experience firsthand, all you need to do is contact me to set up your day on the lake and I’ll show you what I’m talking about.
Good Read: “My Day on the Stick/Marsh 13” – by Danny Barker, FishExplorer.com
Capt. Dean Herdman knows large-mouth bass. Period. He knows the Stick Marsh/Farm 13 and he knows what it takes to boat the big ones. For the past 6 years me, my dad, my wife, and my neighbors have had the experience of a-lifetime fishing with Capt. Dean. Please don’t get me wrong, we spent our lives bass fishing on the Colorado River, but the number of huge bass we catch with Capt. Dean is incredible! If you want to learn about the Stick Marsh/Farm 13, and catch some quality fish, Capt. Dean is the guide you want to go with. He knows the patterns of the fish, and what they are biting on. We have had the amazing pleasure of seeing lots of wildlife, and we even saw a cougar for a few seconds (WOW!) It’s not a complete trip to central Florida without spending time fishing with Dean.